Darkmoon Faire: Not your average big top!

The serpentine eye glowing yellow-red in the impending darkness may look like it’s straight out of the Lord Of The Rings series, but for any WoW aficionado, we know differently. That eye against the purple, yellow, and green checkered flag can mean only one thing; Darkmoon Faire. For those who don’t know, the first Sunday of every month a tent and portal is put up in each of the main thoroughfares. For Alliance it’s Elwynn Forest right outside of town and for Horde, it’s Mulgore, right outside of Thunder Bluff. You can either run there or you can visit one of the Darkmoon Mystic Mages located in Stormwind and Orgimmar respectively. For a small fee they will transport you to the entrance tent.

Dmf Mystic Mage

Like any Faire, there are rides, games, and tasks you do for the equivalent of skeeball tickets. These are called Darkmoon Prize Tickets. While you can’t “taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell,” you can find your favorite boardwalk game down the street of big tops. Whether it’s the shooting gallery, whack-a-Gnoll, or my personal favorite tonks (which is a cross between RC cars and demolition derby) you’re sure to be able to find ways to let the time slip from your grasp and get lost in this mystical treasure island. Like any faire, the more games you play the more prize tickets you get. The more prize tickets you get the more items you have the power to purchase, ranging from clothing, to armor, to your very own set of stationary carousel toys. Additionally, the majority of the games are dailies so you can go back every day of the faire with the exception of the strongwoman.. and what I’m about to tell you.

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All of the dailies are fun. All of them kill time. But none of them are the meat and bones of what Darkmoon Faire really is. This monthly world is a chance to get a leg up in your skills and professions. Once you are over 75 in your chosen skill set you can visit an array of characters who give you quests. Tired of running through Kalimdor for their dailies? No problem! Pack a bag of flour head, to the fair and visit with Stamp Thunderhorn. I promise you will never see frogs the same way again. You’ll also walk away with a +5 to cooking skill. Yes, you see it right. A +5. Of note, he also trains fishing. Around the corner from him you’ll find First Aid, Skinning, and Healing. Every last one of these little quests is +5. We all hate working up Enchanting. Well, make sure to hit the Faire because it clips off an enormous amount of time for you. Leatherworking, Herbalism, Alchemy, Inscription, Tailoring.. the list goes on and on. The kicker is that these are one time a month quests. They aren’t dailies.

Cooking quest DMF

I’m not sure any of us are ever finished. After all, there are alts to level and pets to collect. Something you can do at the Faire as well thanks to the new tent they put up. But even if you’re 90, there is the Darkmoon Den Mother Moonfang to kill who drops a pet, among other loot. Make sure you get your experience buff by riding the carousel!

Buff from carousel DMF

Finally, Last not but least; make sure you see Selina Dourman the Undead at the start of the main street and grab a Darkmoon Adventure Book. As long as you have it on you, while you’re out doing dungeons you have the chance for something from the Faire to drop. When it does you can return it for more tokens and tickets. Don’t forget to visit the stage near the waters’ edge so the Chieftans can rock your virtual world!

DMF information desk

From our big top to yours….

 

 

 

 

Low level Dungeon Revisits – WoD

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Looking to liven up the world… of Warcraft; Blizzard have put many hours into planning more user friendly, and ultimately better experiences throughout the levelling process to maximum level, and before it. Many of the gripes players had in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of The Lich King expansion sets was the hurdle of having to level through older content to reach the new. In Cataclysm, we all know this changed, when they not only revisited many of the older dungeons and zones, but also added new content for maximum level players too. It was a huge undertaking if you think about it, 2 continents of areas completely revisited and entire quest lines changed and modernised. Occasionally you find the odd quest that remains from the days of Vanilla WoW, but honestly they are so far and few between, you would have to go off the beaten track to even find the breadcrumb quest to begin any of them. So when we look at newer expansions such as MoP, and now WoD, very little needs to be done to the old world, if at all to make it conform to the next chapter in the WoW storyline, however that is not to say that Blizzard wants to completely leave the old world behind, trapped in a strange time paradox where Deathwing is still around, so they are revisiting some older dungeons again, only this time adding new WoD storylines to them.

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First on the list to change is Blackfathom Deeps, an instance I always get the irritating urge to change to ‘Blackfathom Depths’ instead, however despite my grammar Nazi attitude to the place, it is still one of my more least visited low level dungeons and least favourite in the game. All that is about to change however, as the things I disliked about the instance seem to have been hammered out with a large mallet called “old instances shouldn’t be long and boring”. This hammer is something we saw a great deal of in Cataclysm, but Warlords is taking it to the next level. Walking inside BFD you see a series of new npc’s offering quests relating to a new threat, not to spoil things to much, it basically involves you defeating a new series of bosses relating to this new ‘threat’, and tentacles, lots of tentacles.

jampingThe first major change is one of the first areas, if you recall there used to be a rather irritating jumping puzzle, requiring you to hop across a group of giant boulders to get to the next area, below is water, in which you would have to swim back to the land if you fell and do it all over again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really don’t see how people can fail such a simple jump, but World of Warcraft is not something that really works too well with jumping puzzles or anything requiring use of its fairly basic jump animations.

lapjampThis has now changed; if one of your party makes it across they can now click on a new rope doodad, which will throw the rope down to the ground below where that warrior has fallen 56 times in the past minute, where they can click it and be thrown up to you. Thank the light for that! All this time, all this suffering, watching and waiting as people press their space-bar too soon or too late, gone in a single change.

 

That’s not to say this is the only change to the dungeon, but is certainly the most welcome. The dungeon is the same layout as before, and actually contains more bosses I think (citation needed), but each one has a series of dialog and some incredibly fun mechanics, usually found much, much later in the game.

 

razor The second instance I looked at was none other than Razor Fen Downs; a rather awkward dungeon located in the southern Barrens. This place had the most annoying escort quest in the history of video games, well possibly. The quest in question was part way through the first area and past the first boss, involving you to backtrack all the way back near the entrance of the dungeon to escort a human to do something with a furnace ( I cannot remember nor care what it was). Thankfully this quest has been completed, and there are no longer any humans to rescue. Whoop! What then instead, is the captivating tale of the red dragon from the old instance, who has returned to ask for your help defeating the last boss, a Lich. The Lich in question survived our first attack in previous expansions and ultimately lives because we forgot to destroy his Phylactery, a vial which preserves the life of a Lich if it’s destroyed and can return it back to life. Sloppy work on the part of the dragon then, but fortunately you take no chances this time in swift, decisive butchering of new and old, returned bosses you may be familiar with.

New mechanics, much like those found in the new version of Black Fathom Deeps are also present within RFD, and much to my delight the run already feels 5-6 minutes shorter than before. If there’s one thing Blizzard have addressed, is that people don’t want to spend longer than 10-15 minutes within a dungeon anymore, and that levelling shouldn’t be a chore, but fun and interesting. I can thankfully say I no longer fear these two dungeons and cannot wait to run new alts through them in the future.

Many new dungeons litter Warlords of Draenor, and some are getting there own heroic modes, however BFD and RFD are NOT getting level 100 variants, only low level remakes, which again shows Blizz’s dedication  to all aspects and facets of the game they are containing to maintain quality over over everything else, even after 10 years of gametime. Be sure to check out future posts on WoW.Stratics as we cover each new dungeon and ultimately everything related to Warlords of Draenor. I have embedded below two videos showing each of the two dungeons I have talked about today from the Warlords of Draenor Alpha / beta Testing phase, be warned however that they contain spoilers! My names Meoni, and I shall see you all next time.

Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent Mount Guide

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What’s up guys, Syiler here, bringing you a guide on how to get the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent. This mount will require a few things before you can get it: the first having Artisan riding, next being exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, third being exalted with Emperor Shohao and finally obtaining 100,000 Timeless coins from the Timeless Isle. The mount once learnt will be Account Bound but will require your alts to also have Exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent to be able to use the mount.  This is by no means an easy mount to obtain and will require you to put a lot of time into it but in my opinion is completely worth it as it is an awesome looking mount!

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So we are going to take a look at how to achieve each step of the process to getting this mount, the main focuses of the guide will be Emperor Shohao Reputation and gaining Timeless Coins but I will also cover Artisan Riding and The Order of the Cloud Serpent Faction.

 

Artisan Riding

First up is Artisan riding. This is one of the easier steps for getting the mount but is absolutely required as without 280% speed or more flying, you won’t be able to learn the mount and it will just sit in your bags until you can learn it! Artisan riding is obtained from any Mount Riding trainer that you can interact with and will cost 5,000 gold by default but you can reduce the costs depending on your current reputation with the faction. For example if you are Exalted with Orgrimmar then you will want to talk to a NPC aligned with the Orgrimmar faction as this will reduce the cost to 4,000 gold so try to go to an NPC that you have a stronger reputation with to get a cheaper price. On top of this if you join a Guild that is Level 24 or higher you will also benefit from the Bartering Guild perk which will reduce the price even further making the lowest possible price you can pay 3,500 gold.

In terms of actually affording the gold I will leave that up to you, but a few methods of earning gold are as follows, completing any unfinished quests in Pandaria (Once you hit max level you will gain additional gold instead of experience, along with the quest greens/blues you will obtain that can be vendored for some gold) this can be a great way of earning extra gold. Another method is making use of the Auction house, selling profession materials, battle pets, transmog  BoE’s and other items you are able to get your hands on. The final method I will suggest is running things like scenarios or Looking for Raid, Scenarios will provide you will a box per run which will contain a portion of gold and a Blue/Epic item which can be vendored, inside the boxes you will have a chance of getting some spirits of harmony as well, which can be turned into profession materials and sold on the AH. You will get a decent amount of gold from just looting mobs within the scenario to complement the boxes, just make sure you loot everything even if its just vendor trash it still earns gold. These are just a few simple methods  for earning gold that you can use but WoW has a vast system for earning gold so just choose a method that suits you best and keep at it until you have enough! Between 3,500 gold and  5,000 gold shouldn’t be to hard to obtain.

 

The Order of the Cloud Serpent

The next task is getting Exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, this is another requirement to be able to learn the mount and you will need to do this for any additional Characters you want to use the mount on, unless it gets changed in the future! (Which it most likely will when Warlords of Draenor is released) There are a few options you can do to get exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, the first being the daily quests located in the Jade Forest at The Arboretum you will need to unlock the dailies by first doing the basic quest chain and once it is completed you will have daily quests with The Order, to complete all the daily quests you will need to have secondary professions but don’t worry if you don’t as their is a fairly decent amount to do outside of those quests. The second method is once you complete the introduction quests and unlock the dailies you will be able to hand in Onyx Cloud Serpent eggs which can be found on the Windward Isle but if you are on a high population server you might have trouble finding them so I would suggest either getting a friend on another server to invite you so you can check for eggs or just wait until less popular times (at night or in the morning) to check for eggs. The final method is within the Timeless isle, killing Huolon and the Crimsonscale Firetorm’s and looting them will have a chance of giving you a Quivering egg which can be turned into Elder Anli at The Order to gain 1000 Reputation per handin, I would recommend this method to most as you can also get Timeless Coins from this which will be needed to purchase the Golden Heavenly Cloud Serpent.

Tips

Keep in mind once you hit Revered you will be able to purchase a Order of the Cloud Serpent Commendation that allows you to gain 100% additional rep with this faction and these can be sent to alts so they can gain additional rep from Neutral-Exalted. Also you can set The Order of the Cloud Serpent to be your stared reputation allowing you to gain Reputation once per day through a Heroic Dungeon, Scenario and Heroic Scenario so this will help build additional Rep per day.

 

Emperor of Shaohao

Now onto getting exalted with Emperor Shaohao, this is going to be one of the longer parts in getting this mount. To start with, complete the introductory quests on the Island to the point you get dailies with Emperor Shaohao you can do each day to gain some Shahao rep, once you are done with them prepare to grind! There are three key areas for grinding reputation and each area  gets significantly more difficult but is also more rewarding in terms of rep, you can farm rep in a group but if you do it in a raid group you will no longer get Timeless Coins so try to keep the farming from 1-5 people to maximise the farming. I will now talk about the mobs in each area and the difficulty rating.

Firewalker Ruins

The Firewalker Ruins contains the Ordon Candlekeeper, Ordon Oathguard and Ordon Fire-walker. These mobs are the easier to handle and would be the place I recommend lower geared players and groups farm for rep.

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 Ordon Candlekeeper

Candlekeeper HP – 713,181

Breath of Fire – Breathe fire, dealing 74,000 to 86,000 fire damage in a cone in front of the Ordon Candlekeeper

Burning Sacrifice – At sub 20% HP the Ordon Candlekeeper will sacrifice its remaining life to Ordos, dealing 185000 to 215000 Fire damage to all enemies within 7 yards and knocking them down.

Shaohao Rep – 5

The Ordon Candlekeeper is located within the Firewalker Ruins and is one of the easier mobs to face. Anyone with an item level of around 470 onwards should be able to deal with these mobs, the auto damage isn’t to high and even if you get hit by the Breath of Fire you should only lose around 20% hp.

Tips for dealing with them – The Ordon Candlekeepers are the easier of Ordon Mobs you will come across, they are fully subseptable to CC so make use of Stuns, Fears etc if you are struggling. The Breath of Fire can be out ranged or avoided if you can react quick enough and the Burning Sacrifice can be avoided by either killing them before the cast goes off or simply moving out of the 7 yard radius. I would recommend these as a farm target for lower geared players.

 

Ordon Oathguard

Oathguard HP – 3,260,256

Craclking Blow – Deals 740 – 860% of weapon damage as Physical damage to enemies in a line in front of the caster.

Defensive Shield – Raises a shield, deflecting all ranged attack and spells and blacking all melee attacks from the front.

Oath Guardianship – Reducse the damage taken of the caster’s allies by 75% for 20 sec. Channeled.

Shaohao Rep – 10

The Ordon Oathguard is located within the Firewalker Ruins and a the second easiest mob to face on the Timeless Isle that will award reputation. Anyone with an item level of around 480 should have no issues with dealing with this mob as the majority of its damage comes from an avoidable attack. The difficult part is dodgying this ability while taking down its 3.2 million HP.

Tips for dealing with them – Make sure you either stop him during Defensive Shield with a stun or some form of CC or move behind him as you will not do any damage during this time if you attack from the front. Cracking Blow has a short cast time so just move to the side when you see it happening and you will avoid the damage. These mobs are easy to deal with but can take some time thats why the higher ilvl recommendation for dealing with them.

 

Ordon Fire-Watcher

Fire-WatcherHP – 2,445,188

Pyroblast – Deals 83250 to 96750 Fire Damage

Falling Flames – Conjures forth a rain of fire, inflicting 18500 to 215000 Fire damage to enemies in a 2.5 yard radius of the impact locations.

Shaohao Rep – 10

The Ordon Fire-Watcher is found within the Firewalker Ruins. Although it has less HP then the Oathguards located in the same area I see theses are more difficult as it is easier to die to one. But a skilled player should be able to deal with these in around 470-480 Ilvl

Tips for dealing with them – The Fire-Watcher’s only have 2 abilities which makes them easier to deal with but these abilities are dangerous and can easily kill you if you mess up or aren’t paying attention. The Pyroblast is a cast and can be stopped with an interrupt or CC. The Falling Flames summons a large amount of falling projectiles so ensure you are zoomed out enough to tell where they will land.

 

The Blazing Way

The Blazing way contains the Burning Beserker, The Eternal Kilnmaster and the Blazebound Chanter. These mobs are a lot more difficult to handle but yield more Reputation per kill so I would recommend this area for higher geared 510+ players and groups!

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Burning Berserker

Beserker HP – 3,464,022

Fiery Charge – Charge the enemy, inflicting 400% weaon damage as Fire and knocking down the target.

Blazing Cleave – Spin around in a blazing circle, inflicting 185000 to 215000 Fire damage to enemies within 6 yards.

Burning Fury – Increases the attack speed by 200% and burning the caster for 5000 Fire damage every 1 second for 6 seconds.

Shaohao Rep – 15

The Burning Beserker is found within The Blazing way and is a greater challenge compared to the previous discussed mobs. They give 15 rep so I would recommend farming these in a party or if The Firewalker Ruins are crowded and you have a high enough Ilvl that they aren’t a challenge. I would recommend around a 490 onwards ilvl for attempting to deal with these mobs.

Tips for dealing with them – The burning Berserker’s main threat is the Fiery Charge, if you leave its melee hit box it will charge you dealing a large amount of damage and stunning you for a short period, to deal with this mechanic just ensure you stay close to the Burning Berserker.

 

Eternal Kilnmaster

KilnmasterHP – 7,588,656

Fiery Charge – Charge the enemy, inflicting 400% weaon damage as Fire and knocking down the target.

Blazing Blow – Deals 462 to 538% Weapon damage as Physical damage to enemies in a line in from of the caster.

Conjure Eternal Kiln – Summons a Flarecore Golem to assist the caster.

Shaohao Rep – 20

The Eternal Kilnmaster’s are located in both The Blazing Way and the Ordon Sanctuary, they are a tough mob with a large HP pool. Similar to the Burning Beserker they will charge you if you get out of range but in addition they will follow up with a Blazing Blow which can result in a one shot. These do give more Rep but are a tough challenge for lower geared players so I would only recommend farming them in a party!

Tips for dealing with them – Stay in melee range, move through him during the Blazing Blow and kill the Eternal Kiln that they summon to reduce their damage. For these mobs you want to have around 500+ Ilvl to be able to deal with them comfortably but as I said being in a party is the best way of handling the tougher but more rep earning mobs!

 

Blazebound Chanter

ChanterHP – 5,733,658

Greater Pyroblast – Deals 185 to 215% weapon damage as Fire damage.

Cauterize – Heals the caster 25% of maximum health, but causes them to burn for 1% maximum health every 1 second for 30seconds.

Fire Storm – Summons a storm of fiery balls, dealing Fire damage at the impact locations.

Conjure Flarecore Golem – Summons a Flarecore Golem to assist the caster.

Shaohao Rep – 20

The Blazebound Chanter can be found in The Blazing Way and the Ordon Sanctuary. They aren’t to difficult to farm and give a high amount of rep so it is worth getting a party together to farm these mobs!

Tips for dealing with them – Interrupt the Cauterize as main priority as even though they lose HP over time you don’t want to be fitting it for that long. Be zoomed out for the Fire Storm so you can tell where the fiery balls will land so you can avoid them. Kite the Flarecore Golem as they do a lot of damage if they melee you and are desummoned once the Chanter dies so no need to kill them.

 

Just keep farming these mobs and completing the quests/dailies until you reach exalted, it will take some time but also gives you time to reach the 100,000 Timeless Coins required to purchase the mount.

Tips for Shaohao rep – I would recommend heading to The Blazing Way in a 5man group, remember to make use of things like Guild banners, The Darkmoon Faire etc for Reputation boosts! I missed out a few mobs that are located in the Ordon Sanctuary but in my opinion they aren’t worth mentioning as they have a crazy amount of HP and damage while only giving slightly more reputation.

Timeless Coins

The final step is getting enough Timeless Coins to purchase the mount, timeless coins come from a lot of places within the island, the first being from Rare Mobs. Depending on the Rare you kill will depend on how many coins you can expect to get, the Rarer the mob the more generally you will get for example the Emerald Bird will give a low amount as it is very common while The Ghostship will give a large amount as it is more uncommon. The next method is from killing mobs within the Timeless Isle, every mob here you kill will grant coins and luckily for us the mobs we kill to gain reputation with Shaohao will also give coins, so I recommend those being your farm targets while killing rares when they spawn. The next method is from Chests on the isle, The Moss-Covered, Smoldering, Sturdy, Skull-covered and Blazing chests all contain coins. Events on the isle will also reward timeless coins, they can normally be identified by crossing swords on your minimap. It will generally require you to do something to trigger them, such as talk to an NPC or kill a certain type of mob, there are a few secret events on the isle so make sure you keep an eye out as they won’t all be crossing swords on your map. Some of the dailies within the Timeless Isle will also reward coins and can generally be easily completed without going out of your way to do it, so I would recommend picking them up when you arrive on the Isle each day. The final method of obtaining coins is to loot containers, they will appear as boxes, eggs, sand piles and more, basically objects you can interact with and loot. The issue with these is they don’t reward many coins (Normally 1-20) but can be found in large quantities so its a slow but safe method of farming coins if you aren’t able to kill the mobs.